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No Benefit of Antioxidants in Preventing Preeclampsia

Second study reports that weight gain between pregnancies increases the risk of preeclampsia in the subsequent pregnancy

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Taking vitamin C and vitamin E during pregnancy does not appear to protect against preeclampsia in high-risk patients, and women who gain substantial weight between pregnancies may be at increased risk of developing preeclampsia in the second pregnancy, according to two studies published in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Joseph A. Spinnato II, M.D., of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio, and colleagues randomized 739 women who were between 12 and 20 weeks' gestation, and who had chronic hypertension or prior history of preeclampsia, to receive either a placebo or daily vitamin C plus vitamin E. The trial failed to show any benefit of antioxidant supplementation in reducing the rate of preeclampsia.

In a second study, Darios Getahun, M.D., of the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey in New Brunswick, N.J., and colleagues analyzed data from a population-based sample of 136,884 women with two consecutive singleton pregnancies, in order to determine the effect of body mass index (BMI) changes on the incidence of preeclampsia. The researchers found that increases in pre-pregnancy BMI between the first and second pregnancies were associated with an increased risk of preeclampsia in the second pregnancy (BMI increase from underweight to obese, odds ratio 5.6; normal to overweight, OR 2.0; normal to obese, OR 3.2; and overweight to obese, OR 3.7).

"The apparent dose-response relationship of increasing changes in pre-pregnancy BMI on preeclampsia risk may support the concept that obesity-mediated inflammatory changes may play a role in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia," Getahun and colleagues write.

Abstract - Spinnato
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Abstract - Getahun
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